The future of ...

Erwin van Lun predict the long term future and blogs about developments today gradually shaping that future. Also in Dutch

Interactive shop-windows

At Singapore Airport you can find some interactive shop-windows. When touching the window, a ‘globe of films’ is projected. You can control it by touching the window again. The globe can turn in any direction, and by touching one of the films on the globe, a video is started on a plasma TV next to it. (fc). This way the shop-window becomes more and more interactive, and our experiences become more intense. This is a simple but effective way to do that.

3D objects live added to video

French company T-Immersion has developed a technology to add 3D objects to live video streams. (fc). In this picture the newspaper is photographed, then the video starts playing, and 3D avatars interact with the newspaper. And the video shows more. The virtual world becomes a screen over the real world. In a while, we will walk over the Colosseum in Rome, point our camera, and have a movie replayed in our glasses, our hand phone of any other possible display, exactly from the position we’re in at that moment. Thus a completely new dimension evolves.

Zopa, banking 1.1 or 2.0?

Financial auction site Zopa brings together money lenders and borrowers. A borrower states the conditions for a loan, and if these compare to offers of lenders, the deal can be made. The risk is spread by dividing the total amount of money into smaller amounts, provided by several lenders. The credit scores of people who are borrowing money are thoroughly checked (dc, Dutch). Here banking 1.1 comes into being. It is he existing principle of a bank, as Zopa has to make money too. Using IT to make a new start, processes can be reinvented, or even be deleted if necessary. This way situation can arise that is comparable to what Easyjet has done in air transport. Zopa can grow into a transaction brand, with a price fighter position in the savings and loan markets. In the end financial coaching brands will advice us on what we should do with whom (what transaction brand), under what conditions. And they will take care of that for us. That will be the added value of the financial coaching brand, and that is where their margins will be. That is banking 2.0. The development of this kind of transaction brands contributes to that.

Dag, the first day

Dag is a new news brand in the Netherlands. The media consider it the fourth free newspaper in the Netherlands, however the organization rightly announced it as a cross-medium news brand. And it has the ambition to grow into a news coaching brand, a brand that stands next to you and follows the changes in society with you. And if you see something yourself, Dag happily listens to you. In the navigation they have a tag ‘participate’, you can rate every item, and give your reaction on everything. Later we will be able to ask Dag in a spoken dialogue (in the car, in the shower, or at the railway station in Cape Town): “Is there any news?” Then we will get, in text, image or sound (whichever we prefer), the latest news since the last time we asked that question. This is a small step in that direction.

Cup final soccer with several cameras

On the internet, the latest KNVB cup final soccer could be watched through four camera positions: Player Cam, Top Cam, Goal Cam, and the Directors Cut. The latter showed the edited images of the regular tv signal: for tv, the game was registered by 26 cameras (em, Dutch). We completely imitate the physical world in the virtual world. Real time, live! At the moment we are still limited to fixed cameras; later we will be able to get any image we want from all cameras, including those of fans in the stadium, real time. We then kind of fly through the stadium with our own camera. Or we fly with somebody else who knows what to pay attention to (with a director or a directing consumer). At this moment, in replay through the last minute or through a game played ten years ago. It gets more and more real. This is a small step in that direction.

Postbank scans people living together

The SamenWoonScan (Dutch) van de Postbank (Dutch) helps you organize your finances when you start to live together. After entering information such as your old and new living situation, monthly and yearly incomes, current primary bank and ongoing insurances, pensions and loans you're given an overview of what you should be thinking of. As such you get advice on fiscal partnership, dividing regular costs, a 'living together' contract and setting up a will. You also get matching offers from the Postbank. Brands are starting to think along more and more.
Postbank can grow into a financial coaching brand, a brand that strives for a long-term relationship and coaches within its financial area of expertise. As a trusted partner, Postbank will soon also start to sell (all) products of third parties, compare them for you, make the best choice together with you and take care of the transaction. Then the advice will be truly credible and relevant. However, changes don't happen overnight, but step by step. This is a step in that direction.

LaatJeLeiden animates logo

LaatJeLeiden, a Dutch student site, has animated its logo. Brands will animate their logo more and more often. To exhibit brand personality, to broadcast a message, or just to create additional attention to stay in the visitor's memory longer. Animating the logo simply wasn't done in a time where you only had a few seconds to show it. Young people, not yet burdened by thoughts from the mass communication era, show that you can do much more with a logo. It won't be long before we can also interact with the brand. Will all traditional brands too. This is a step in that direction!

TNO sends along link to disclaimer

TNO, a Dutch research institute, now includes a link to an email disclaimer in its personal email traffic. This is instead of the usual complete disclaimer. Brands are entering the dialogue with consumers, with people. Just like normal mutual (for example) telephonic contact we don't agree to a disclaimer beforehand. The attention of this kind of messages are currently still disrupting the communication, but this is a step better. In a next step TNO will set down the disclaimer at a notary and create a link 'sent under TNO conditions 1.01' with a link to the notary. In a next step in which authentication in email will be organized (worldwide) extremely well a disclaimer won't even be needed and we can just trust the sender implicitly. And then messages can become interesting again, open a virtual world for us, without having agree to something 15 times. It'll all take a while, but it's coming.

Communicatie Online integrates blogs

Communicatie Online (Communication Online; Dutch), the site of the monthly magazine for communication specialists, has now been integrated with its sister blog Commlog (Dutch). The headers 'news' and 'opinion' (the old blog part) are now fraternally below one another. It's possible to react to all articles. This is how magazine brands are slowly giving the reins to their community (the readers). At first they'll become passive purchasers, now they're active contributors, soon they'll decide which item should be treated in the magazine. Communicatie can then grow into a brand that facilitates a trade association in their career developments. In affiliate programs, it can recommend courses, (all) books and congresses. And even new jobs. Internationally too. And this is how Communicatie can grow into a true career coaching brand.

Last.FM advises music events

Last.FM, a social music site, now gives listeners recommendations for performances, concerts and festivals based on their location and musical tastes. Anyone can add events and the lists are steadily growing. This is how all events in he world, all listeners can respond and invite their friends and Last.FM will earn through the use of affiliate programs (provisions per sold ticket). This is how artists will stop earning money from music on discs or downloads, but from performances and merchandising. This is a step in that direction.

Public transport adviser 9292 includes car transport

Public transport adviser now also includes car transport in your search. After clicking a special link, it will give you a comparison of the various types of transportation. Even the car park closest to for example public transport to Amsterdam’s city center will be shown. According to Reisinformatiegroep, the organization behind 9292, this is the first service of its kind in the world. It is definitely a step in the direction of a mobility coaching brand, a brand that selects for us the best way to get from point A to point B, independent of transport suppliers. The next step will be the integration of car transportation advice in the standard public transportation advice, and the building of customer profiles by ov9292: maybe somebody doesn’t have a drivers license, he or she hates buses, or can’t stand for a long time and so wants to avoid traveling during rush hours. And an even further step would be to give international travel advice. Earlier or later we will get instant spoken advice on when to leave, which way to walk and where to sit. Reservations, payments and tips will all have been taken care of. We won’t have to think about traveling any more. This is a small step in that direction.

Differences in US and China profiles

A couple of striking differences between Chinese and American internet users:

  • Chinese users regularly use photoshop to touch up their pictures.
  • Chinese users don’t mind their picture to be blurred.
  • American users look straight into the camera, in contrast to their Asian counterparts.

(vc). Children nowadays get to meet people from other cultures at an early age. They start speaking different languages much earlier than their parents did. They get an early consciousness of the cultural differences between people. But humans mostly learn their own behavior by looking at other people, and imitating them. If in the future all toddlers in the world are connected, we can expect very special developments. The result in the long run will be that human behavior worldwide will be identical, and in the end there will be one culture. This however will take at least another hundred years.

Huge cost reduction through speech recognition

Due to the implementation of new speech recognition systems at the call center of British company Bristol Wessex Billing Services, its costs have been reduced by 75%. Besides the customer service levels for its 1,100,000 customers have improved, and a 24-hours service has come into service, available 7 days a week. (sw). Brands are completely computerizing their dialogues with their customers. To become a stronger brand, to extend their service, and to reduce costs. This research clearly shows it is really going that direction.

All companies automatically on Google Earth

All 700,000 companies listed on the business pages of the Dutch phone directory are now also listed on Google Earth (em, Dutch). In the virtual world, we completely imitate the physical world. In this building phase we connect everything. This way we will be able to travel everywhere, see everything, experience everything. Like it is real. This is a small step in that direction.

Publisher Sanoma personalizes samples

Publisher Sanoma has started a test in its Dutch magazines Libelle and Viva, in which readers can order samples and have them sent home by sending a text message. Usually samples of shampoo for instance are glued on a magazine, so every reader will get the sample. In this test the reader will take the initiative, and with that the publisher will be able to gather pithy profile information. (em, Dutch). Brands are sending their messages more and more targeted, and wait for their target to answer. Samples used to be sent to everyone (like mass communication), now they are sent to people who take the initiative themselves, and later brands will know exactly what people they have to provide with samples. Maybe not only the people who will personally benefit from the product, but also the people who play an important role in word-of-mouth advertising. Those people then don’t just get a sample: they will get the whole bottle sent to them, in a special box and with a handwritten letter. This is a small step in that direction.

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